Bradford Council nominated to win national improvement award

Bradford Council has been short-listed for the prestigious national Improvement and Efficiency Award 2014.

The Council has been nominated within the ‘Community Matters' category for its Youth Contract Young Futures Fund partnership work. It will join two other organisations short-listed for this category at the awards ceremony in London on 4 March.

The ‘Community Matters' award is given for organisations that have positively influenced issues affecting their community, in particular where the action taken falls outside the normal statutory remit. The Council nomination was for "clear improvements in the community whilst clearly demonstrating a reduction to the whole cost of local public service”.

Hosted by the Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise (iESE), local government's own not for profit transformation mutual, the awards honour the dedication of public service teams working behind the scenes to keep much relied upon services going in the face of severe financial pressures.

The awards provide a national platform to showcase innovative and sometimes radical solutions that are helping to bridge the gap and ensure crucial knowledge is shared across the UK.

The government funded Youth Contract aims to help young unemployed 16 and 17 year olds secure a positive destination in education, employment or training. Bradford's funding is devolved from Leeds City Region and has meant funding can be focused on areas of the district where there are high levels of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) or vulnerable groups such as those with insecure housing needs and young offenders.

Bradford Council has chosen to distribute the money at community level to try out new ways of working and encourage innovation in local areas. Its Young Futures Fund involves working in partnership with voluntary groups across the district to improve the prospects of hard-to-reach young people.

Six projects were given grants of £10,000 to work with at least six young people over a year to offer them support and to help them secure a place in education, employment or further training.

Each of the six projects adopted a ‘co-design' approach, engaging the young people affected to involve them in developing their projects further. Co-design works when projects identify a community of interest and work with young people themselves to design their project and develop best practice.

Kathryn Loftus, from Bradford Council's Education, Employment & Enterprise Team, who will attend the awards with Coun Ralph Berry, said: "I am really proud that our partnership with the organisations that make up the Young Futures Fund has been recognised in a nomination for this award.

"It shows that our approach is innovative and unique and is proven to be valuable in helping NEET young people in our district overcome barriers to participation.”

Coun Ralph Berry, Executive Member for Children's Services, said: "It is a fantastic achievement to have been nominated for this award. Great credit must go to the team and organisations involved who, in times of financial constraint, have found innovative ways of supporting young people to succeed in education, employment and training.”

For further information contact: Kathryn Loftus, 14-19Participation Officer, Education, Employment & Enterprise Team, Tel: 01274 385831 Mob: 07582 108759


Published: 03/03/2014
Audience: All Headteachers and Staff
Contact: Fiona Binns

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